Donnie was laid to rest this past Friday in a superhero casket that reflected his love of costumed characters.
Now, an arrest affidavit has been released in the case — and the report depicts Morales as a paranoid meth user who claimed that he'd been "told" to kill the child, who died a few days before what would have been his third birthday.
The document, obtained by 7News and CBS4, notes that Morales had only been out of jail a week prior to the boy's death, on September 21. Although he's just 21, he has a lengthy criminal record that includes domestic violence, burglary, theft and more.
Donnie Ro'Mello Romero Jr. with his father, Donnie Ro'Mello Romero Sr.
Family members are quoted as describing Morales as a meth user whose actions had grown distinctly paranoid. He allegedly claimed that "the mob and the FBI were following him" and had bugged his phone, leading him to conclude that "everyone in the house was going to die."
He also cut out photos of his grandfather, who he believed to have been in the mafia, under the theory that they "mean something in code" and thought diamond shapes in the carpeting "are symbols of a cult," the report maintains.
Discussions had taken place among his loved ones about taking Morales to the hospital and seeking help for his problems.
Yet, on the morning of the 21st, the affidavit says his mother asked him to watch Donnie while she and her sister — the boy's mother, Tiffany Segura — took the latter's older kids to school.
A Facebook photo of Roman Morales.
When they returned, everything seemed fine at first — but a series of odd occurrences followed. For instance, Morales's mom found her son standing in the kitchen wearing cleaning gloves — and he later asked for a blanket that he began shoving into a plastic storage tote.
Morales later said that Donnie was playing outside on his own — something he wasn't allowed to do. A subsequent search failed to locate the boy, prompting Segura to call 911.
Before police arrived, Morales rode away on his bicycle, allegedly to look for Donnie.
Shortly thereafter, the boy's body was found under the blanket in the tote. He had a cord around his neck and blood was seen around his neck and mouth.
Tiffany Segura during an interview after the death of Donnie Jr.
Fox31 file photo
After Morales was located and taken into custody, the report continues, he was questioned by authorities but was evasive until he was allowed to see his mother. When she told him Donnie was dead, Morales reportedly began cursing and threatened to punch her in the throat. He then whispered to her, "I was told to do it."
Who gave him this order? He didn't say.
At this writing, Morales remains behind bars on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Below, see a CBS4 report about the latest developments.
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